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The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is characterized by delayed P300 latency and reduced grey matter (GM) volume, respectively. The relationship between the features in aMCI is unclear. This study was to investigate the relationship between the altered P300 latency and the GM volume in aMCI.
Thirty-four aMCI and 34 well-matched normal controls (NC) were studied using electroencephalogram during a visual oddball task and scanned with MRI. Both tests were finished in the same day.
As compared with the NC group, the aMCI group exhibited delayed P300 latency in parietal cortex and reduced GM volumes in bilateral temporal pole and left hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus. A remarkable negative correlation was found between delayed P300 latency and reduced left hippocampal volume only in the aMCI group. Interestingly, the mediating analysis found P300 latency significantly mediated the association between right supramarginal gyrus volume and information processing speed indicated by Stroop Color and Word Test A scores.
The association between delayed P300 latency and reduced left hippocampal volume in aMCI subjects suggests that reduced left hippocampal volume may be the potential structural basis of delayed P300 latency.
Drug use disorders are an important issue worldwide. Systematic attempts to estimate the global incidence of drug use disorders are rare. We aimed to determine the incidence of drug use disorders and their trends.
We obtained the annual incident cases and age-standardised incidence rate (ASR) of drug use disorders from 1990 to 2017 using the Global Health Data Exchange query tool. The estimated annual percentage changes of the ASR were used to quantify and evaluate the trends in the incidence rate. Gaussian process regression and the Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to assess the relationship between the ASR and socio-demographic index (SDI).
The number of drug use disorders’ cases increased by 33.5% from 1990 to 2017 globally, whereas the ASR exhibited a stable trend. The ASR was higher in men than in women. Most cases (53.1%) of drug use disorders involved opioid. A positive association (ρ=0.35, p < 0.001) was found between ASR and SDI. Teenagers aged 15–19 years had the highest incidence rate.
The incident cases of drug use disorders were increasing, but the incidence rate did not change significantly from 1990 to 2017. Current preventive measures and policies for drug use disorders might have little effect. The present results suggest that future strategies should focus on men, teenagers and high-risk regions in order to improve the current status of drug use disorders.
A high energy electron density modulator from a high-intensity laser standing wave field is studied herein by investigating the ultrafast motion of electrons in the field. Electrons converge at the electric field antinodes, and the discrete electron density peaks modulated by the field located at the corresponding laser phases of kx = nπ, (n = 0, 1, 2, …), that is, the modulation period is 1/2 the wavelength of the individual laser. We also discussed the influence of the laser parameters such as laser intensity and waist size on the beam modulator. It is shown that a long interaction length (waist) or sufficiently high field intensity is essential for relativistic electron density modulation.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Energy chirp compensation of the electron bunch (e-bunch) in a laser wakefield accelerator, which is caused by the phase space rotation in the gradient wakefield, has been applied in many schemes for low energy spread e-bunch generation. We report the experimental observation of energy chirp compensation of the e-bunch in a nonlinear laser wakefield accelerator with a negligible beam loading effect. By adjusting the acceleration length using a wedge-roof block, the chirp compensation of the accelerated e-bunch was observed via an electron spectrometer. Apart from this, some significant parameters for the compensation process, such as the longitudinal dispersion and wakefield slope at the bunch position, were also estimated. A detailed comparison between experiment and simulation shows good agreement of the wakefield and bunch parameters. These results give a clear demonstration of the longitudinal characteristics of the wakefield in a plasma and the bunch dynamics, which are important for better control of a compact laser wakefield accelerator.
In this study, we investigate a new simple scheme using a planar undulator (PU) together with a properly dispersed electron beam (
beam) with a large energy spread (
) to enhance the free-electron laser (FEL) gain. For a dispersed
beam in a PU, the resonant condition is satisfied for the center electrons, while the frequency detuning increases for the off-center electrons, inhibiting the growth of the radiation. The PU can act as a filter for selecting the electrons near the beam center to achieve the radiation. Although only the center electrons contribute, the radiation can be enhanced significantly owing to the high-peak current of the beam. Theoretical analysis and simulation results indicate that this method can be used for the improvement of the radiation performance, which has great significance for short-wavelength FEL applications.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Microwave sintering is a novel and efficient technology for the rapid preparation of metallic materials. In this paper, an investigation has been performed on the distribution of microwave electromagnetic fields in a metallic particle system and its influence on sintering behavior. The results show that the microstructure of the “metallic-void” will induce a nonuniform distribution and focusing effect of electromagnetic fields during microwave processing, which may accelerate the sintering process. However, further study shows that the focusing effect will decline as the neck grows larger, and will also decline from outside to inside within the loosely packed powder system, which will result in the slowdown of the sintering rate. These results were supported by the synchrotron radiation computed tomography experimental observation of the microstructure evolution of metallic powders during an entire uninterrupted microwave sintering process.
Landfast sea ice forms and remains fixed along the coast for most of its life time. In Prydz Bay, landfast ice is seasonal due to melting, mechanical breakage and drift of ice in summer. Its annual cycle of thickness and temperature was examined using a one-dimensional thermodynamic model. Model calibration was made for March 2006 to March 2007 with forcing based on the Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition data, which consisted of in situ ice and snow observations and meteorological records at the Zhongshan Station. The observed maximum annual ice thickness was 1.74 m. The ice broke and drifted out in summer when its thickness was 0.5–1.0 m. Oceanic heat flux was estimated by tuning the model with observed ice thickness. In the growth season, it decreased from 25 W m-2 to 5 W m-2, and in summer it recovered back to 25 W m-2. Albedo was important in summer; by model tuning the estimated value was 0.6, consistent with the ice surface being bare all summer. Snow cover was thin, having a minor role. The results can be used to further our understanding of the importance of landfast ice in Antarctica for climate research and high-resolution ice–ocean modelling.
The (1 − x)[0.94(K0.5Na0.5)NbO3–0.06LiNbO3]–x(Bi0.5K0.5)TiO3 (abbreviated as: KNLN6–xBKT, x = 0–0.05) lead-free piezoelectric ceramics were prepared using conventional solid sintering method. The effects of BKT on the phase structure, electrical properties, temperature stability, and fatigue behavior of KNLN6 ceramics were systematically studied. Results show that BKT substitution into KNLN6 induces a phase transition from coexistence of orthorhombic and tetragonal phases to a single tetragonal phase with a normal-relaxor ferroelectric transformation and correspondingly shifts the polymorphic phase transition below room temperature. Accordingly, the temperature stability of the properties is significantly improved, and a flat, temperature stable behavior over the temperature range of 25–150 °C is observed in BKT-modified ceramics. Temperature-dependent structural analysis suggests that the good properties insensitive to temperature of the modified samples can be ascribed to the stable tetragonal phase over a wide temperature range, evident by the almost unchanged tetragonality c/a ratio with temperature. Moreover, the BKT-modified ceramics not only exhibit temperature-independent characteristic but also possess fatigue-free behavior. All the electric parameters, including unipolar/bipolar strain S, remnant polarization Pr, permittivity εr, and large signal d33*, display no degradation up to 105 switching cycles. The exceptionally good fatigue resistance and temperature stable behavior make the modified KNN-based materials excellent candidates for lead-free actuators and transducers.
In order to resolve the redundancy of a wheeled mobile redundant manipulator comprising a two-wheel-drive mobile platform and a 6-degree-of-freedom manipulator, a physical-limits-constrained (PLC) minimum velocity norm (MVN) coordinating scheme (termed as PLC-MVN-C scheme) is proposed and investigated. Such a scheme can not only coordinate the mobile platform and the manipulator to fulfill the end-effector task and to achieve the desired optimal index (i.e., minimizing the norm of the rotational velocities of the wheels and the joint velocities of the manipulator) but also consider the physical limits of the robot (i.e., the joint-angle limits and joint-velocity limits of the manipulator as well as the rotational velocity limits of the wheels). The scheme is then reformulated as a quadratic program (QP) subject to equality and bound constraints, and is solved by a discrete QP solver, i.e., a numerical algorithm based on piecewise-linear projection equations (PLPE). Simulation results substantiate the efficacy and accuracy of such a PLC-MVN-C scheme and the corresponding discrete PLPE-based QP solver.
Airborne and spaceborne remote sensing of ice freeboard offers a good method of retrieving ice thickness in the polar oceans. However, its accuracy is highly limited by the factors altering the hydrostatic equilibrium of ice floes, such as snow cover and melt ponds which change the surface loading on the ice volume. In contrast to the abundant studies on snow loads, little attention has been paid to the role of melt ponds, partly owing to the difficulties of freeboard measurements during the melt season. To help fill this gap and provide a basis for possible instruments and algorithms being able to access ice freeboard with melting surface in future, a theoretical model was developed to investigate the uncertainty in ice thickness retrieval due to surface melting. First, the ice thickness was related to the freeboard, snow depth, melt pond size and densities of snow, ice and water, and then a sensitivity analysis was carried out to study the influence of melt pond morphology. The results show that melting ice has a much lower mean thickness than ice without a melting surface, although with the same freeboard because of a loss of floe weight due to melting. During pond evolution, a floe gains weight when ponds deepen on the vertical scale, but loses weight when they widen on the horizontal scale, resulting in increasing mean ice thickness with decreasing pond depth and fraction. Freeboard is found to be the major source of uncertainty in the retrieved thickness of first-year ice (FYI), while it is ice density in the case of multi-year ice (MYI). The ratio of ice draft to freeboard ranges from 3.0 to 6.2 for FYI and 2.0 to 4.1 for MYI, agreeing with field observations during melting seasons.
The ice cover on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau plays an important role in the environmental and ecological systems. We analyze the in situ measurements of ice growth and examine the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice in the Beiluhe basin. We evaluate numerically the change of thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice with changing ice temperature using an optimal control model. In a higher ice temperature regime (–3 to 0°C), the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice decreases exponentially with increasing ice temperature, and approaches the thermal diffusivity value of fresh water near the freezing-point temperature. In a lower ice temperature regime (–15 to –3°C), the thermal diffusivity increases slowly with decreasing ice temperature.
Surface elevation data for sea ice in the northwesternty - Weddell Sea, Antarctica, collected by a helicopter-borne laser altimeter during the Winter Weddell Outflow Study 2006, were used to estimate the form drag on pressure ridges and its contribution to the total wind drag, and the air-ice drag coefficient at a reference height of 10 m under neutral stability conditions (Cdn(10)). This was achieved by partitioning the total wind drag into two components: form drag on pressure ridges and skin drag over rough sea-ice surfaces. The results reveal that for the compacted ice field, the contribution of form drag on pressure ridges to the total wind drag increases with increasing ridging intensity Ri (where Ri is the ratio of mean ridge height to spacing), while the contribution decreases with increasing roughness length. There is also an increasing trend in the air-ice drag coefficient Cdn(10) as ridging intensity Ri increases. However, as roughness length increases, Cdn(10) increases at lower ridging intensities (Ri < 0.023) but decreases at lower ridging intensities (0.023 < Ri < 0.05). These opposing trends are mainly caused by the dominance of the form drag on pressure ridges and skin drag over rough ice surfaces. Generally, the form drag becomes dominant only when the ridging intensity is sufficiently large, while the skin drag is the dominant component at relatively larger ridging intensities. These results imply that a large value of Cdn(10) is caused not only by the form drag on pressure ridges, but also by the skin drag over rough ice surfaces. Additionally, the estimated drag coefficients are consistent with reported measurements in the northwestern Weddell Sea, further demonstrating the feasibility of the drag partition model.
During the 19th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition from December 2002 to January 2003, 1085 icebergs were observed along the cruise track within the range 58–68° S in the Southern Ocean using the marine radar on the R/V Xuelong. These icebergs were located mainly in the Ross Sea, Weddell Sea and Prydz Bay with lengths ranging from 68 to 8169 m. Both power-law and Weibull functions are applied to the curve fitting of cumulative probability distribution of iceberg length in each region. The results reveal that the power-law function underestimates the measured data in the middle of the data, but overestimates them for both the smallest and largest iceberg sizes, whereas the Weibull function underestimates the measured data when iceberg length is large enough. To reduce the relative error increasing with iceberg length, the Weibull function is used only in fitting to iceberg lengths less than a threshold value of iceberg size (Lt) and the power-law function is used in fitting to iceberg lengths >Lt. The improved curve fits show a good correlation over the full range of the data. This clearly reveals that an upper limit of iceberg length exists in the good agreement between the Weibull function and the measured data, which is attributed to different thermodynamic effects on calving processes and subsequent modification of large and small icebergs. In addition, iceberg size in Prydz Bay increases and then decreases when approaching the Amery Ice Shelf as a result of bergy bits and growlers calved from large icebergs in front of the ice shelf.
Rijpfjorden (808 N, 22° E) is a high-Arctic fjord on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago. To monitor the thermodynamic change of sea ice in spring, an ice mass-balance buoy (IMB) was deployed for 2.5 months (10 April–26 June 2011), with accompanying in situ measurements, sea-ice sampling on three occasions and ice-core analysis. Uncertainties and sources of error in in situ measurements and IMB data are discussed. The in situ measurements, ice-core analysis and IMB data together depict the development of snow and ice in spring. Snow and ice thickness exhibited large spatial and temporal variability. After relatively stable conditions with only little change in ice thickness and accumulation of snow, a layer of superimposed ice ∼0.06 m thick formed at the snow-ice interface due to refreezing of snow meltwater in late spring. Ice thickness (except for growth of superimposed ice) did not change significantly based on in situ observations. In contrast, the under-ice sonar data from the IMB show reflections from a layer deeper than the underside of the ice during the melting phase. This can be explained as a reflection of the sonar pulses from an interface between a freshwater layer under the ice and more saline water below, or as a false-bottom formation.
Objective: Functional imaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shown an increased activation of posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG) of the brain. The aim of this study was to explore white matter integrity of PCG in PTSD subjects.
Methods: White matter integrity, as determined from fractional anisotropy (FA) value using diffusion tensor imaging, was assessed for PCG in subjects with and without PTSD from a severe mine accident. All subjects were also measured by the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the logical memory subtest and the visual reproduction subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised in China. Sixteen PTSD subjects (8 subjects in each group) in the longitudinal study and 13 PTSD subjects as well as 14 non-PTSD controls in the cross-sectional case–control study were respectively recruited.
Results: In the longitudinal study, subjects with PTSD showed increased FA values in left PCG during the follow-up scan. In the cross-sectional study, FA values in bilateral PCG in PTSD subjects were higher than controls. Within the PTSD group (n = 13), FA values in the left PCG correlated positively with logical memory and negatively with PCL-C intrusion and STAI-trait (STAI-t) subscores. FA values in right PCG correlated negatively with STAI-t and STAI-state subscores.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that alterations of white matter integrity in PCG link to mnemonic and affective processing in PTSD over the long-term follow-up period.
Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene has been suggested to be associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). There were a few reports of the relationship between the variant and late-onset depression (LOD) in Chinese Han population.
To investigate the relationship among BDNF Val66Met gene variants, BDNF plasma level and LOD.
Chinese Han patients with LOD (n = 99) and control subjects (n = 110) were assessed for BDNF Val66Met gene polymorphism. BDNF plasma level was tested only in LOD.
There were no significant differences in genotypes and allele frequencies between cases and controls (p = 0.744 and p = 0.845, respectively). Plasma BDNF level also did not show significant differences in three genotypes in LOD (p = 0.860).
The Val66Met polymorphism in BDNF gene may not confer susceptibility to LOD in Chinese Han population.
Since the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on the Chinese mainland in 1985, the virus has spread to all provinces and autonomous regions. Although much research emphasis has been placed on studying behaviors and transmission knowledge among high-risk populations, especially drug abusers and commercial sex workers, little has been done to measure understanding within other risk groups. The objective of this study was to investigate HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) knowledge and attitudes among hospital-based healthcare professionals in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China.
Data were gathered through a questionnaire completed by a convenience sample of individuals from three diverse hospitals.
Insufficient knowledge of the disease and its transmission resulted in more than 90% of the respondents expressing apprehension about contracting the virus and nearly 24% expressing reservations about caring for infected patients.
Uncorrected, such attitudes and knowledge deficiencies have the potential to impact negatively on the quality of care, patient-practitioner safety, and proper postexposure prophylaxis.